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Duterte to skip US-ASEAN meet in May out of respect for successor

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Duterte to skip US-ASEAN meet in May out of respect for successor
If he attends and makes a stand or enters into agreements at the US-ASEAN Special Summit next month, President Rodrigo Duterte said it might “not be acceptable to the next administration.”
Philstar.com screengrab of President Rodrigo Duterte's Talk to the People

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will be sitting out the meeting with US President Joe Biden and with other leaders of Southeast Asia scheduled next month because the Philippines would have elected a new president by then.

Washington, through the US-ASEAN Special Summit, will be hosting state leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on May 12 and 13. 

"Pangit na tignan kung magpunta ako duon alam ko na may bagong presidente na (It won’t look good if I go and there is already a new president-elect) and besides, if there is a working conference, there might be some agreements or commitments that will be made there," Duterte said in his weekly address. 

The Philippines will be holding its national and local elections on May 9 and the presidential inauguration will be held end-June. Duterte pointed out that while it would take a while for the elected president to be proclaimed by Congress, it would be difficult.

If he attends and makes a stand or enters into agreements, Duterte said it might "not be acceptable to the next administration."

In a statement dated April 16, US Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the summit will "build on" Biden’s previously announced $102-million programs on COVID-19 recovery and health security, the climate crisis, economic growth, promoting gender equality, and "deepening people-to-people ties" in the October 2021 US-ASEAN Summit.

“It is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration to serve as a strong, reliable partner in Southeast Asia,” Psaki said. — Kaycee Valmonte

JOE BIDEN

PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE

US-ASEAN SPECIAL SUMMIT

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